Orientation for First Year Students

Orientation for First Year Students

UKZN held its 2019 Orientation event on all five of its campuses attracting large numbers of excited students eager to learn about what the University has to offer and to take part in all the happenings.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Humanities Professor Nhlanhla Mkhize congratulated the students for choosing UKZN to further their studies and encouraged them to work hard, pursue their goals and continue to excel. ‘In spite of your background, make sure you give back to the communities you come from. As the future generation, you can make a difference and change the cycle of poverty,’ he said.

Social work student, Ms Sibongile Novuka, is excited about what the academic year holds for her. ‘I am happy to be a student at UKZN. I will work hard and make my parents proud. They have sacrificed so much for me to be here and I can’t thank them enough. As a future social worker, I know I can make a difference in society. I can help those who can’t help themselves,’ said Novuka.

Student Support Services Manager in the College of Health Sciences (CHS), Dr Saloschini Pillay, said students frequently experienced anxiety and stress due to academic, social, emotional or financial pressures.

‘While most students cope adequately with these pressures and demands, some become overwhelmed and without constructive help, their sense of wellbeing and academic performance may be threatened.

‘Student Support Services therefore assist students to regain the emotional balance necessary to cope with the demands of university life. UKZN offers self-care counselling and academic mentoring,’ said Pillay.

Other issues discussed at length with CHS students were policies and procedures by Academic Services, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), professional conduct, the importance of managing a personal digital footprint, living UKZN REACHt values and decentralised clinical training.

Senior students also shared their university experience with newcomers.

The College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science included some heart-warming interactive sessions as part of their 2019 Student Orientation sessions. The Pietermaritzburg programme kicked off with a mini Zumbathon routine presented by the Sports Union. Dr ‘T’ was also on hand to inspire them with her scientific experiments.

Students were certainly inspired. ‘I chose UKZN because of its high rankings,’ said Mr Ayanda Mabaso who has registered for a BSc Civil Engineering degree. ‘I am so proud and excited to be here,’ he said.

The College of Law and Management Studies held a series of orientation programmes for its first-year students on the Westville, Howard College and Pietermaritzburg campuses.

The students received a warm welcome from the College staff and were introduced to academic programmes and support services available to help the transition to university life. Programmes included presentations from Student Funding, Student Accommodation, Student Wellbeing, and Risk Management Services.

In between the jam-packed programme, students were introduced to organisations within UKZN such as Enactus, InQubate, and Abasa who all gave interactive presentations on what they do and how students can join.

Students were then divided into small groups according to their Disciplines and taken into breakaway venues for curriculum presentations where academic co-ordinators unpacked the degree structure, academic expectations, online learning systems and other important information.

The day ended with a walk-about for students to familiarise themselves with the campus before lectures start.

Words: Ndabaonline

Photographs: Melissa Mungroo, Lihle Sosibo, Andile Ndlovu and Albert Hirasen